Featured Employee of the Month: Carlos Hernandez

carlos hernandez dog trainer hickory

He is Highland Canine’s Service Dog Coordinator and lead service dog trainer. His role is to transform lives through each dog he works with – shaping these pups from typical canine to the ultimate companion and partner.

His name is Carlos Hernandez, and he relocated internationally from beautiful, sunny Puerto Rico to North Carolina for the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of families who need it most. Carlos is an exceptional dog trainer and an even better person – and we are so blessed to have him as a member of our team!

This month, Highland Canine would like to recognize all of the hard work and commitment that Carlos puts into his work; not just for us, but for the countless families and their service dogs who Carlos has dedicated himself to.

In this interview, we learn more about Carlos, and who he is when he isn’t training dogs to do one of the most important jobs possible!

carlos hernandez with dog

Q: What would you name the autobiography of your life?
A: I would name it “Loved and Blessed.”

Q: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
A: I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano and the guitar, and would still love to do this.

Q: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
A: Definitely help out my family and travel the world.

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Although I currently live in North Carolina, I am originally from the beautiful island of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico.

Q: When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? 
A: I used to spent my free time on the beach with my dogs, but now I don’t have the beach so I spend my free time taking pictures of my dogs.

Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
A: Dr. Dolittle, no explanation needed.

Q: What is something you learned in the last week?
A: I learned how to effectively organize my fridge, and how to be successful with my diet.

Q: What chore do you enjoy the least?
A: I have to say folding clothes…

Q: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
A: Jesus!

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
A: I like to watch HGTV and movies from Spain.

Q: What three traits define you? 
A: I would have to say “loyal”, “hard worker” and “joyful”.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote? 
A: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
– Mother Teresa

carlos hernandez with service dog on flight

Q: If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Hamburgers!

Q: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
A: I love to sing, even though my voice is horrible!

(Interviewer note: Carlos is being modest – his voice is actually quite good)

Q: Do you have a favorite genre of music?
A: I really enjoy Worship songs and 80’s music.

Q: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
A: I would like to have the power to teleport anywhere, instantly. That would be amazing!

Q: How do you define success?
A: I define success as: Try, try, try, and then keep trying.

carlos hernandez with goldendoodle service dog

Q: If you had to choose one theme for Highland, which would be turned into a book about the company, what would it be?
A: Highland’s theme would be “High Quality.”  

Q: How did you first learn about Highland Canine?
A: I first learned about Highland eleven years ago through a former student graduate, named Odalys, who went through a program at our School for Dog Trainers.

Q: What has been your proudest moment at Highland? 
A: Every service dog delivery is an extremely proud moment for me. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a dog that you trained from a tiny puppy becoming a service dog who will change the life of its family.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
A: Witnessing how service dogs transform the lives of families for in such a positive way. I receive success stories from these families almost daily, and it makes my job so worth it. Seeing photos and videos of the service dogs we train bonding with their families and making such an immense difference in their lives make even the cloudy days shine!

Want to read about more Carlos’ journey from Puerto Rico to North Carolina, and learn how he became a service dog trainer? Take a look at this article!